Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the extension being sought by the nation’s registered political parties for the conduct of their primaries if granted, would have dire consequences on the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Mr. Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said on Sunday in Abuja that INEC has given enough time for parties to conduct primaries to select their candidates for the polls.
He was reacting to a claim by a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim, who had accused the commission of endangering the conduct of the 2023 general elections with what he alleged to be INEC’s partisan interests.
But responding, Mr. Oyekanmi said the extant laws gave INEC power, as a regulator of political parties, to determine when party primaries should take place.
According to Oyekanmi, the extension being sought by parties, if granted, would disrupt the planning template for the 2023 general elections with dire consequences.
He said, “The extant laws, indeed, give INEC the power, as a regulator of political parties, to determine when primaries should take place, contrary to some views. It is quite obvious that he has not read the Electoral Act, which is quite disappointing.
“The INEC Chairman had, on at least three occasions, urged the political parties to conduct their primaries within the stipulated timeline, as no extension will be entertained.
“The extension being sought, if granted, would disrupt the planning template for the 2023 general election, with dire consequences.
He also noted that none of the parties complained about INEC ‘s timetable when it was released in February.